When it comes to topics for tonight’s vice presidential debate, associate director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, Morgan Lyon Cotti, said she is anticipating discussion on big topics like the economy and health care– issues she identifies as important to suburban voters.
“Which is exciting for utahns. Because largely, our state is made up of those suburban voters who are still deciding how they want to vote,” Lyon Cotti said.
Lyon Cotti acknowledged that while the pool of voters who have yet to decide how to cast their ballot is small, the main issue now is convincing voters to show up at the polls or drop their ballots in the mail.
And within that group Lyon Cotti said candidates want to convince to vote, she identified suburban, female voters as an important demographic.
“There has been a lot of talk about the woman suburban voter, especially in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona,” she said. “They’re looking at those women who are members of the LDS Church. Most recent poll, the most recent polling in Utah shows that Biden is actually winning women by a few points. And that’s important.”
When it comes to that preference Lyon Cotti said it can be hard to tell if it’s the policies winning those voters over or the candidates as individuals.
“President Trump still has very low approvals, especially with women,” she said. “So we’re trying to parse through is, is that those a democratic ideals and policies that are appealing to women? Or are they turned off by the current occupant of the White House?”
And in terms of appealing to voters tonight, Lyon Cotti said it all comes back to that idea of turn out.
“Vice President Pence and Senator Harris are really going to be trying to provide justifications for why people should support them,” Lyon Cotti said. “They’re going to talk about health care. They’re going to talk about the Supreme Court and provide that argument that resonates with the voters.”